For eons, women have believed the golden number for weight loss was 1200. By consuming only 1200 calories a day, dropping those extra kilograms was guaranteed.

But Travelling Dietitian Kara Landau told Daily Mail Australia that information is completely wrong - and will actually do more harm than good.

The Melbourne based health guru says restricting calories so intensely can often have a negative effect on your health, and any weight actually lost would soon return.

Landau says as many diet products are low in calories but equally as low in nutrients, it's difficult to stay full, which can result in overeating.

"Only 1200 calories doesn't leave you with a great volume of food in terms of dietary variety and feeling full," she explained.


"But it's about what you fill them with. You'll see a lot of diet products which are calorie controlled but devoid of nutrients.

"There is no protein, probiotics, fibre, vitamins or minerals in these foods.

"Those nutrients will help with energy levels, concentration and help ward off hunger and craving which helps you stick to your diet."

Even more beneficially, following a diet rich in nutrients and throwing the calorie counting app out the window generally gives you more energy, which helps with maintaining an exercise regime - further encouraging weight loss.

Landau says because nutritious food keeps you fuller for longer as a rule, the risk of overeating is significantly lessened.

It's more than your waistline that will thank you for putting a bit more on your plate.

According to the dietitian, a lack of energy and nutrients can effect your circulation and even your chances of having a baby.

"If your calories are being restricted so much, you're likely not to get a lot of the nutrients you need, which can put you at risk of reduced fertility," she explained.

Healthy fats are required for hormone production, and they're often cut out in the bid to stay under 1200 calories.